We all knew this day would come. The day of my longest, most analytical Marvel post. The day I basically go through all the Captain American: Civil War characters and offer my long-winded opinions on them. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t put you through a post on every single MCU character. I mean, I could do. I’ve decided I must stop dedicating so much of this blog to my Marvel rants, so I thought I’d finish up for a short while by writing a two-part character post, starting with Team Cap. Enjoy.
Considering Civil War is a Captain America film, let’s start with Steve Rogers himself. I’ve got a lot of love for Cap, and I’ve got a lot of love for the way Chris Evans plays him. The change in his character from The First Avenger to now is incredible, and personally, I think it can only be put down to one person: James Buchanan Barnes. Before Steve becomes Cap, he insists to Stanley Tucci’s Dr Erskine that he “doesn’t want to kill anyone”, he just simply “doesn’t like bullies.” But after Bucky falls off the train (hold in the tears, guys), he says to Peggy that he “won’t stop until all of Hydra is dead or captured.” There’s gotta be a correlation there, right? With this in mind, and the events of 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie, I knew that Steve and Bucky’s relationship would play a major part in the storyline of Civil War, and I was not wrong. Steve took protecting his friend to a whole new level, even opposing 117 nations to ensure his safety. You can’t really blame the Stucky shippers for thinking there’s something deeper when Steve goes around pulling shit like that. Chris definitely played a darker Cap in this film, which was made abundantly clear during that harrowing final scene in which he nearly sends Tony into an early grave, without a care in the world. There are almost no echoes of the Cap we used to know; he’s no longer an all-American hero. He’s a criminal. He’s nothing like the Cap we saw in Age of Ultron, telling Stark to mind his language. He had to act like this, though – there had to be a reason for him to drop the Captain America persona and just be Steve Rogers again. And that reason turned out to be because he made a choice between Bucky and the Avengers. He nearly killed Tony, and if that isn’t making a choice, I don’t know what is. There’s no way he could’ve continued working side by side with him after that. So it’s goodbye Captain America, hello Steve Rogers (again).
Oh, and, in case you were in any doubt, I was on Team Cap for the entirety of this film. I understood where he was coming from, even before the safety of my beloved Bucky became a factor.
Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson (or, The Falcon) is undoubtedly one of my most-loved characters in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. His sharp wit and his tragic backstory make him the perfect companion for Steve, which is evident in every film he’s appeared in so far. It’s so clear that he trusts Steve with his life and would do anything for him, even save the life of a guy he hates. He proved to be one of the main sources of comedy in Civil War, which was more than necessary, considering that it’s the darkest Avengers film I’ve ever seen. Although his partnership with Steve is by far the most prominent in the film, it’s his dynamics with Bucky and Scott that captivate me the most. His obvious contempt for Bucky creates some of the most ingenious and comic moments in the film (see: “Can you move your seat up?”), while bringing up his past altercation with Scott (Ant Man) is basically the MCU saying “Hey, look, we’re pairing up two of the funniest characters in the movie, this is great!” Kudos to Anthony Mackie here, because his delivery of Sam’s lines is everything. His comedic timing is effortless, and that isn’t something that stops just with his character; Mackie himself is one of the most naturally funny actors around. And, if my dreams come true, Mackie won’t just be our Falcon anymore; he’ll be our Captain America too…
Ahhh, Wanda Maximoff. Easily one of the most interesting characters in the MCU. Even though her debut film, Age of Ultron, wasn’t exactly perfect, I think everyone warmed to Wanda almost immediately, especially due to the loss of her twin (and the love of my life), Pietro. The thing about Wanda that really intrigues me is that no one really understands her powers. Not even she does. The exact strength of her abilities is a complete enigma, and this is something that I think will definitely be played upon in the upcoming Infinity War films. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up defeating Thanos single-handedly. Anyway, in terms of Wanda in Civil War, no one can say that she didn’t play a pivotal part in the narrative. Her blowing up of Rumlow basically causes the Sokovia Acords, which by extension causes the rift between Steve and Tony. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not accusing Wanda of being the villain – that title lies solely with Zemo (and the pesky, smug Thaddeus Ross and Everett Ross). I did enjoy the continuation of Wanda’s character arc in Civil War, and I loved that her connection with Clint was explored further. However. I do have something to object to. I cannot get on board with this ‘romance’ between Wanda and Vision. Something about it just doesn’t sit right with me. Whether it’s the fact that Vision is fundamentally an android, I’m not sure. Whether it’s the fact that Wanda is only supposed to be a teenager, who knows. I know romantic feelings have only so far been alluded to, but we can all see what’s coming. Just because Elizabeth Olsen is a young, attractive actress, Marvel have felt the need to push her into a relationship, despite it not being called for in terms of her character’s development (in my opinion). Although, in saying this, I do think that her feelings for Vision are the only thing that stops her breaking out of the compound straight away, before Clint comes for her. Anyone else, and she would’ve railed against them. Basically, all I’m saying in terms of Wanda is: don’t ruin her. Don’t go all ‘typical Hollywood’ and make her character all about romance. She’s a strong female character, something that has always been lacking in terms of comic book movies. But Marvel are completely on the right track – they just need to remember that Wanda’s main story should revolve around her dealing with her powers on her own, and she should never appear vulnerable without a man.
Right. First off. I’ve made it abundantly clear several times before how passionate I am about the character of Bucky Barnes, so I’ll keep this as short as possible, I promise. Bucky is one of the only supporting characters to have appeared in all three MCU phases, and there’s a definite reason for that. I’ve said time and time again how captivating his relationship with Steve is (Stucky is real, right?) and the MCU is only confirming this, as two of Cap’s three solo movies have basically revolved around the walking disaster that is Bucky Barnes. The change in his character, from cute, funny 1940s Bucky in The First Avenger to deadly assassin with the sassiest hair going in The Winter Soldier, was heart wrenching to see, and that’s why I loved the split we got between real and psycho Bucky in Civil War. Now, this is the part where I go into full-on fangirl mode. How incredibly does Sebastian Stan play Bucky? I mean, I think everyone in the MCU plays their part pretty damn well, but none of them have to basically play two characters in one go, do they? Because, let’s not lie, Bucky and the Winter Soldier have nothing in common. They are two different people. And Seb knows exactly how to play them both perfectly; perfectly terrifying as the Winter Soldier and perfectly innocent and sympathetic as Bucky. I make no secret of this – I basically only root for Team Cap because I’m Team Save Bucky Barnes At All Costs. I can’t bear anyone speaking ill of him, and I certainly can’t bear Team Iron Man branding him a terrorist and attempting to get him locked up. I’m not about that life. However, I must admit that I did feel a pang of sympathy when our poor Tony Stark, who just cannot catch a break, had to watch his parents die at the hands of the Winter Soldier. And I bet when he looked across the room at Bucky, all he could see was the man who, against his own will or not, killed his parents. I understand his anger and his upset. And kudos to Sebastian Stan in this scene; he’s not the focal point in any way, but he never breaks character once. You can pretty much see the guilt seeping out of him. It kind of reminds me of this scene in The First Avenger. ‘This’ being the first scene in which I ever watched Sebastian Stan’s acting and went “Wow. This boy knows his character.” And he shone just as bright in Civil War. He knows his character inside and out, and that’s why he’s gained such a big following. Some may call him a villain, but the majority see him for what he is: a victim. And thank God our lord and saviour T’Challa is keeping him in Wakanda; I wouldn’t fancy my chances against the Black Panther himself, so as far as I’m concerned, Bucky is safe. And I can only hope and pray that he is uh-hydraed in time for Infinity War. Something tells me that he might be needed if a certain Captain Rogers passes away…
(That wasn’t as short as I promised… Sorry)
Clint Barton is hands down the most relatable Avenger. He really has that “I can’t really be bothered, but let’s do it” attitude down to a T. I didn’t believe in his ‘retirement’ for one second; as much as I loved the family unit that had been created for Clint in Age of Ultron, he’s definitely at his best when he’s kicking ass. In saying that, I also love the almost fatherly relationship he has with Wanda. Whether this is out of guilt and compulsion (I mean, come on, Wanda’s twin brother lost his life saving Clint), I don’t know, but I prefer to believe that Clint just wants to help her out of the goodness of his heart. The scene in which he tells her to “get off her ass” really kick-starts her part in the movie. But, that’s just it, isn’t it? Clint has never really had his own story – he’s always just a sidekick in someone else’s. He was part of Loki’s plan in The Avengers, just another part of the team in Age of Ultron and now he’s acting as Wanda’s therapist of sorts in Civil War. He’s a wasted character. I’ve got a lot of time for Jeremy Renner (he completely blew me away in The Hurt Locker) and I’m not sure if Marvel have realised they’ve got a class actor on their hands, who deserves a lot more than what he is being given. His final scene in Civil War – his confrontation with Tony – gave me a glimmer of hope. He had passion, he had fire, and that is the Hawkeye I want to see. Let’s hope Infinity War keeps on delivering that.
Question: is Scott Lang not the best part of this film? His intro was strong; it immediately showed those who hadn’t seen the brilliant Ant Man just how comic and easy-going Scott is, and how different he is to many of our current Avengers. Both of Scott’s scenes in Civil War are easily two of my favourite in the entire MCU; while his introduction to Cap was perfectly hilarious, his part in the airport battle scene shows just how much Ant Man really has to give. Who didn’t laugh in amazement as Ant Man became Giant Man? And, let’s not lie, Steve and Bucky would never have gotten away if it wasn’t for Scott’s distraction (although maybe that would’ve been for the best…) so you can’t say he didn’t play an integral part in the narrative. Overall, I thought Civil War established Scott as a new Avenger perfectly. Paul Rudd’s comedic timing was flawless, yet again, and not only that, but it was completely necessary. Civil War was a fairly dark film narrative-wise, it definitely needed some humour. Anyway, I can’t wait to see what Scott brings us next – we already know that he’ll be appearing alongside Hope and Hank Pym in Infinity War, plus we’ve got Ant Man and the Wasp on the way, too… It’s all looking good for Scott.
It’s time for a BONUS CHARACTER! She may not actually be in either Team Cap or Iron Man, but come on, if she had to choose, it’d be Cap 10 times over. Of course, I’m talking about Sharon Carter. I wish Marvel hadn’t screwed over Sharon Carter. I bet Emily VanCamp wishes Marvel hadn’t screwed over Sharon Carter. She was badass in The Winter Soldier; her main purpose was to help bring down Alexander Pierce, whereas in Civil War, her main purpose appears to be pining after Steve Rogers. Maybe let’s not do that. I’m not blaming Chris or Emily for this at all, but there is zero chemistry between the pair, and come on Steve, she’s Peggy’s niece. Don’t go there. Emily VanCamp has so much more to give, and I’m sure it’s quite lovely kissing Chris Evans as your job, but she should be given more than that, she deserves more than that. It’s still unknown whether she’ll be appearing in Infinity War, but if she is, I’d love to see her redeemed in some way. I’m hoping the MCU start reminding us just how similar she is to her Aunt Peggy – she doesn’t need any protection and she can fight as well as any man…
So there we have it, my character verdict of Team Cap. Stay tuned for Team Iron Man… I promise to stay as impartial as is possible for a Stucky fan!
P.S Just for fun, here’s some bonus photos of Team Cap in normal attire… Not really much difference, is there?